Apr. 17—WIAA approves football realignment
The WIAA Board of Control approved the 11-player football conference realignment solution initiated by the Conference Realignment Task Force Committee on Friday, finalizing a plan that moves River Falls back to the Big Rivers and Rice Lake out from the BRC and into the Middle Border.
River Falls was previously moved out of the Big Rivers and into the Mississippi Valley for 2020 as part of a state-wide football-only conference realignment plan, though they still played a BRC schedule last fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. Rice Lake is set to be the largest school in the Middle Border at a 703-student enrollment. Ellsworth ranks second in the conference with 509.
The new conference alignment goes into effect for the 2022 football season.
Blugold softball earns sweep
UW-Eau Claire softball earned a defensive-minded sweep of UW-La Crosse on Friday, winning Game 1 1-0 and Game 2 2-1. Morgan Sivak tossed a complete game shutout in the opener, giving up two hits while striking out four batters.
Steel fall to Jets
Liam Hansson scored the Chippewa Steel's lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the Janesville Jets on Friday. The game was the first for the Steel played under coach Mike Janda, who was announced as the new head man earlier in the day as part of the franchise's ownership change.
The Steel kick off a three-game road series against the Kenai River Brown Bears next Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Hauser promoted by WIAA
Stephanie Hauser was named the new executive director of the WIAA by the Board of Control on Friday, a role she will take over in July. Hauser, who has served as the WIAA's assistant director since 2015, is set to replace the retiring Dave Anderson.
"I am grateful and so proud to have been offered the opportunity to serve our diverse membership and to move education-based athletics forward," Hauser said in a statement. "Our member schools are facing challenging times, and I look forward to supporting and involving them in the process as we embrace this new chapter together."
Hauser currently serves as the WIAA's coordinator for gymnastics, volleyball and softball and previously coordinated cross country and track and field. She will be the first woman to serve as executive director in the 125-year history of the WIAA.
From staff reports